CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 17 July) — Health authorities here said five persons found to have been infected with the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 have fully-recovered and were about to be discharged from two hospitals here when the Department of Health informed them about their cases, chief epidemiologist Dr. Jose Retuya said.
“We are now reviewing their cases and further observing them,” Retuya told a virtual presser on Friday, adding they would not be discharged as yet but as a precaution, they will be transferred to a treatment facility dedicated for Delta variant cases.
The Delta variant or B.1.617.2, is a variant of concern that the World Health Organization is tracking and monitoring around the world because of its increased transmissibility.
The DOH announced on Friday that 16 additional cases of the Delta variant were reported in the Philippines bringing the total to 35. Out of the16 cases, five are returning overseas Filipinos and 11 are local cases, six of them in Northern Mindanao — five in Cagayan de Oro City and one in Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental province.
The two cities were immediately placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases on Friday, the most restrictive among quarantine classifications.
In an online press briefing on Friday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the six Delta variant cases in Misamis Oriental are “part of a large cluster of cases with dates of onset between June 23 to June 28” but all of them have been tagged as recovered.
Retuya said they will also review the patients’ narratives of the people they have been in close contact with.
Retuya said swab tests on the five patients were sent to the Philippine Genome Center last June 28.
“ The patients were randomly tested and these five came out to be positive of the new variant,” Retuya said. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)